7 September 2017

Burundi: Inter-Burundian Dialogue Expected to Resume by October

Following the recent visit to Benjamin Mkapa, facilitator in the Inter-Burundian dialogue, Burundi Ombudsman, Edouard Nduwimana said both of them converged on the resumption of the Inter-Burundian dialogue sessions from October.

"Our common vision was that the facilitation office would schedule the last session to conclude the inter-Burundian dialogue in December so as not to interfere with the most important events that we are planning, particularly the revision of the constitution and the 2020 elections", said Burundi Ombudsman.

Edouard Nduwimana said that bringing together Burundian political actors is one of his missions as an Ombudsman. He also said the recent meeting he organized with Burundian political leaders in Kayanza province in May was an opportunity for them to speak their mind.

Another meeting was held in Helsinki in June. Before those meetings, Burundi Ombudsman said he and the facilitator had agreed that all the political actors and parties officially recognized by the government would attend the forthcoming dialogue session.

He, however, said he asked the facilitator to distinguish between innocent political actors and the wanted ones. "Those who are being prosecuted are not many. They should be courageous enough and respond to justice and, if necessary, apologize to the Burundian people for what they did", he said.

Jérèmie Ngendakumana, communication officer within the opposition platform CNARED, says the facilitator in the Inter-Burundian dialogue has been appointed to help the Government of Burundi which violated the Constitution which the platform struggles to preserve. "We need to find a solution to the ongoing crisis", he says.

He added that the Burundian Ombudsman is not the right person to call upon the stakeholders in the Burundi peace talks to resume sessions by October. "The December deadline is not possible as the negotiations have not yet started, otherwise it would be a miracle", he said.

Macocha Tembele, Public Affairs Officer to the Former President of Tanzania and Facilitator in the inter-Burundian dialogue has indicated that the facilitator met the Burundi Ombudsman on 5 September as they prepare for the soon-to-be-announced dialogue in Arusha.


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